How Investment Cooking Can Make Work/Home Life a Little Easier

Investment cooking is a wonderful way to eat regularly and healthily. Investment cooking means spending time and money up front and watching your efforts pay off in the long term. You can invest in up to a month’s worth of meals at a time by buying the ingredients and preparing all of your meals in one day; then, you get to use those prepared meals for the rest of the month with absolutely no stress and minimal effort. 

Juggling work and home life successfully while maintaining a healthy diet is an impressive feat to pull off. Succeeding in your career brings income and the feeling of purpose, prioritizing friends, family, and free time at home allows for mental health and emotional stability, and eating well allows you the energy and health necessary to maintain all of the other aspects of your life. Usually, at least one of these three variables gets neglected, and often healthy, consistent eating is the first to suffer. 

Spending two, three, or four weeks worth of grocery money at one time may seem out of the ordinary. Still, you must keep in mind that you are feeding yourself for an extended time, and you will not be making any more trips to the grocery store after your initial visit: it is an investment. So, to get you started, here are some meals that are easy to freeze for later: 

  • Chili
  • Meatloaf
  • Grilled chicken (with various marinades)
  • Lasagna 
  • Baked Ziti Casserole 
  • Broccoli Chicken Casserole 
  • Chicken Noodle Soup 
  • Black Bean Soup
  • Enchiladas 
  • Pancakes and waffles 
  • Smoothies 
  • Jambalaya 
  • Shepherd’s Pie 

Chicken is a staple in healthy, ready-to-go meals. You can fully cook, refrigerate, and reheat grilled and seasoned chicken or freeze the raw chicken in its marinade. I prefer this latter option as it yields fresher, tastier results. On prep day, just create the marinade, throw the raw chicken (thighs, wings, breasts, etc.) in a ziplock bag with the marinade and stick it in the freezer. I recommend rinsing first and drying with a paper towel before putting in freezer bags. On cook day, all you have to do is pull it out of the freezer before work, and it’s ready to bake or grill by the time you get home (five to ten minute cook time). Here are some of my favorite marinades for inspiration (each of these recipes makes enough marinade for six chicken breasts): 

“Best Chicken Marinade”

  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil depending on preference
  • 6 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 6 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 6 Garlic Cloves minced or 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 3 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Pepper

“Buttermilk Herb Marinade”

  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

“Buttermilk Ranch Marinade”

  • 3/4 cups Buttermilk
  • 3/4 cups of Dill Pickle Juice
  • 1/4 cup of Ranch Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

“Greek Marinade”

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp of oregano
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper

Here is a link to a helpful money-saving blog that lists more freezable meals and their step-by-step instructions!